Fifty HBCU baseball players will compete in the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic presented by Ken Griffey Jr., and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) on Friday, July 7. The game will be played in Seattle, Washington at the Mariners stadium, home of the 2023 MLB All Star Week. It will also be nationally televised on MLB Network and MLB.com.
“I’m very thankful to be there,” Bethune Cookman Outfielder Hylan Hall said. “Coming from an HBCU and having this opportunity to be seen in front of scouts it’s a great opportunity and I just want to make the best out of it.”
“It was super surreal,” Grambling State infielder Kyle Walker expressed. “I was just thankful for the opportunity and i’m just really excited to play.”
Having a baseball icon like Ken Griffey Jr. be a sponsor for the event takes the excitement to a new level.
“When you hear a name like Ken Griffey Jr. it’s like I definitely need to turn it on another notch,” Walker stated. “I feel like a lot of people are going to be out there watching and it could lead to bigger opportunities for the future.”
Three HBCU Swingman Classic participants were also invited to the 2023 MLB Draft Combine held in late June. Hylan Hall (BCU), Xavier Meachem (NCA&T), and Trey Paige (Delaware State) joined the top prospects ahead of the MLB Draft at the combine.
“I’m just looking at guys that I have not seen and seeing if I can hold my own,” Hall stated.
“I’m out here learning and picking everybody’s brain and seeing how they play and seeing how I can improve,” Meachem explained.